A Theory of Managed Trade
This paper proposes a theory that predicts low levels of protection during periods of "normal" trade volume coupled with episodes of "special" protection when trade volumes surge. This dynamic pattern of protection emerges from a model in which countries choose levels of protection in a repeated game setting facing volatile trade swings. High trade volume leads to a greater incentive to unilaterally defect from cooperative tariff levels. Therefore as the volume of trade expands, the level of protection must rise in a cooperative equilibrium to mitigate the rising trade volume and hold the incentive to defect in check.
Published: American Economic Review, September 1990.